Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Technovating Into Existence

Leaders with the strong discipleship of "that which worked before would work now" have contributed immensely to the tech bred niche of companies. They breathed in technology and arrived with products that were meant for one and all. The market had mixed responses but had a derisory effect in the grand scheme of things. The second best thing that happened after the light bulb could be the internet and then hordes of other inventions and then the need for patents. Patents did offer some recluse to this breed of companies but more often than not could not invoke the viral behavior that was desired. The failed manifestation of people centric sensitivity remains at the core of the problem still. 

The tech led companies make believe themselves into the thinking that a good product is set up for a success provided all conditions are constant. The management works the R&D, Marketing and HR teams to roll this out and sometimes globalize what they feel is the mother's milk for the baby. They can be spot on strategy and execution yet have negative results with the investor and market confidences. The reality  is that market does decide your share of pie and treading along the garden path to oblivion would prove fatal in the long run.

Starbucks had to close down 75% of its outlets in Australia while trying to bring in coffee into a pub sensitive segment. It had other reasons as well, later on their RCA showed lack of proper training and soft skills led the debacle. It had a good product success written all over but lacked information of  circumstances. In cricket or any game for that matter, a good player is the one that succeeds on any ground. Some prominent tennis players would say grass is good for the cows, and hard courts are not meant for them. We have but one grand champ ranked at the end of it all, the one who won on different courts.

HCL though a tech company did well in actualizing and strategizing their vision of 'Employee comes first and customer second'. They realized the importance of soft management vis-a-vis the structured old fashioned strategy and execution based technique. This company grew from a garage two decades ago to 6.5billion dollars, from scientific calculators to a multispecialty service and consulting industry. It outfoxed the recession, went ahead and bought Axon, won over the tussle with Infosys and now all set for the next one. Another example is E-bay where the HR played against policies and brought in flexible timings to their employees. They focused on issues around the employee having to run their families and on work balance so on so forth and then introduced empowerment to them. The whole company looked  good, increased productivity, operational efficiency and sent the share holders whistling back home.

Whether it is a Volcker effect for Obama's team or a Warren Buffet salivating on a good deal, the industry pundits predict the great economic depression is yet to come. They are associating pattern recognition with smartness and strategizing execution as guts. Fundamentals can be strong but it is becoming increasingly important for the recognition of patterns and sensitizing the cultural beliefs to that affect.Seemingly a renegade management practice and actioning interstitial knowledge is the de rigueur for Indian companies in the years to come.

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